On this trip you'll travel through three very different countries, see amazing scenery, great wildlife and meet some cool people.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The Gorillas are of course very special and an absolute highlight of this trip. The Masai Mara for me was also very special - it kept delivering spectacle after spectacle (just when we thought "it can't get better than this" - the mara proved us wrong). Seeing a small pride of lions with a kill on an early morning game drive was just amazing. Between the Mara and Nakuru we managed to see all the big 5 - plus cheetahs, giraffe and an elusive serval cat.
On day one you have the option of taking boat to Elsamere - this is very worthwile, especially watching the fish eagles catching their lunch!
The nature walk at Lake Mburo in Uganda was great highlight of the second week - the chance to get on eye level with animals is a truely wonderful experience). The walk is also great for birdwatchers - who'll love the variety of feathered critters.
The visit to the genocide museum in Kigali is rightly challenging - but you leave with a good understanding of the events and underlying causes of the 1994 genocide.
Oh and drinking Nile Special, next to the Nile, that was quite cool too.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Chris (leader), Francis (co-leader) and Jonas our cook were great. The guys work so hard behind the scenes to keep us well fed and on track - all the time with a smile and great conversation. Chris shares his knowledge of geography, history and wildlife throughout the trip and I learnt so much as a result.
The guys are also great at advising you where and when to change money, what rates to expect and how much to change.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Aside from go ahead and book it I would say:
The gorilla trek can be short or long - if you have any kind of condition that may limit your endurance (I suffer a bit with asthma) tell your leader and they will do their level best ensure that you are matched to a walk that's within your capabilities (don't worry - there will be one, a lady of 82 had been to see them the day before us!). Be prepared for the pace to increase a bit once you catch up with your designated family (again don't worry - if I can do it, pretty much anyone can!). Take lots of water with you (2 ltrs or more) you will need it!
Again on the gorilla trip if you have gaters or a method of closing the bottoms of your trousers then I'd advise using them - nipping ants can be an irritation. Long sleeved shirts are also highly recomended.
Take a stuff sack - it's great for taking ummm stuff from the truck to tent. Also be aware the when you head up to the Mara you leave the truck at Naivasha, so a small bag to take required kit in is necessary.
Lake Bunyoni offers a great opportunity to aclimatise to the conditions you'll encounter on the gorillas - the nature walk and the trip to the orphange are great ways to get some practice walking at a higher altitude to normal, in a hilly environment.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
This is a great trip for anyone wanting to visit africa for the first time, it's also a great trip for anyone whose been there before (it was my second time with Exodus). As the trip is fully catered you don't have to lift a finger (unless you want to) which means that time is totally your own.
You get a proper taste of "real africa" on this trip - be it camping in Lake Mburo National Park, with hippos and warthogs strolling between the tents at night, the bustle of Nakuru town or the quiet relaxed atmosphere of Kigali. So while the trip has a real wildlife focus, the other elements that make East Africa an amazing place to go are all well catered for.
If you are a photographer - this trip offers a lot of good photo opportunities - take plenty of memory and batteries - charging is available at a number of places and on the truck (when moving).
Now stop reading this and go and book it - when you get there say Hi to Charles the Silverback for me.